The trade talk surrounding AFL superstar Clayton Oliver has taken yet another twist after the Melbourne Football Club gave their midfielder a precise order.
It came to light on Wednesday that Oliver was open to a bombshell trade out of Melbourne, despite being tied to the club until 2030 with a healthy contract.
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7NEWS chief AFL reporter Mitch Cleary confirmed that the Melbourne board was involved in a crisis meeting on Wednesday night, discussing whether the 26-year-old’s future was at the club or elsewhere.
Several AFL clubs sprung into action to see if it was possible to fit Oliver into their salary cap and Adelaide – with a link to Oliver through fitness boss Darren Burgess – emerged as a strong candidate.
But on Thursday word was out that Oliver had been instructed by the club to shape up or pack your bags.
Clayton Oliver has been told by his club to get his act together. Credit: Getty Images
It has also emerged that popular skipper Max Gawn and wife, Jess (who is pregnant with the couple’s second child) have opened their door to Oliver.
Oliver’s professionalism has been called into question during a troubled 2023 season.
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Oliver only managed 15 games for the season, missing 10, and he ended up in hospital with a foot infection that was, according to the club, caused by a blister (there is a suggestion, however, a DIY tattoo caused the infection).
He also struggled with a hamstring injury and, in July, had a high-profile blow-up with the club’s head of strength and conditioning Selwyn Griffith.
Oliver recently admitted to 7NEWS that his 2023 season and his injury struggles had been “really frustrating”.
“And I probably didn’t handle it the way I should have,” he confessed.
But the club was also frustrated with Oliver, who had been vocal about his disappointment with the club’s medical staff.
In fact, Oliver also saw an outside physio about his injured knee on which he has since had surgery.
Sources have also told 7NEWS.com.au that Oliver turned up late for an end-of-year meeting and may have also missed a team meeting.
The fact that Oliver is linking up with his good friend Gawn is an indication he wants to “shape up” rather than be “shipped out”.
Oliver and Max Gawn celebrate after the Demons won the 2021 grand final. Credit: Getty Images
Veteran AFL caller Dwayne Russell said there had been a “disconnect” between Oliver and Melbourne.
“I was actually with Clayton Oliver (on) grand final morning for an hour and had a good chat with him,” Russell said on SEN.
“Much of what he told me was obviously private … (but) there is a disconnect there at the moment.
“Melbourne either needs to give Clayton Oliver a massive hug, or they need to trade him, one of the two.
“I just think he needs a giant hug, that’s the way I see it, that’s my reading of it.”
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